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Tue 29 Oct 2019

Kelsang: The unsung hero of Nepal Impact

Impact Marathon Series (IMS) is built upon incredible people harnessing the power of running to create positive change around the world. One of those incredible individuals, who has played an integral part in establishing the Nepal Impact Marathon is Kelsang Choden Thaptsangkyi.


Kelsang stumbled into her role with IMS, she wasn’t exactly a keen runner and had never organised a marathon before. But things just fell in to place and she became a vital member of the team, completing tasks such as community engagement, procurement and race day registration.


“In 2016, when I was really eager to work in the tourism industry in Nepal, I started interning at Trek Nepal International (a trekking agency). I wasn’t doing or learning much in the office, so my boss told me that I would be involved in organizing a marathon and a few days later introduced me to Nick Kershaw (IMS CEO and Founder). 


“I obviously wasn’t sure how I would contribute at all at the beginning because I’d never even participated in a marathon and here I was, given a job to be a part of the organizing team. But getting to know Nick and the other team members of IMS, I think it was a wonderful stroke of luck that I got to work with them and be a part of this because I definitely got more involved in the marathon than I was probably expected to.”


Originally from Kathmandu, Kelsang is a lover of the outdoors and lists her favourite location in Nepal as Sundarijal, closely followed by Shivapuri National Park, the site of the Nepal Impact Marathon 42km and 21km courses.


“I really like the fact that the half marathon and full marathon course goes into Shivapuri national park and I quite like that part of the course since it is shaded and blanketed by trees and involves crossing some waterfalls and streams, it’s very refreshing and exciting.”


Kelsang added that usually the highlight on race day for her is when people cross the finish line, but also the project work that Impact undertake is highly important: “It is overwhelming to witness the look on the faces of all the runners and some of them have beautiful stories to tell as to what the marathon means to them and I think after all the hard work the team members put in for weeks and months, this moment makes it all worth it. 


“Just watching people running for a cause, to raise awareness about important matters, and to connect with people from all over the world makes this event special.


“IMS brings together running and humanitarianism, where people can contribute towards a better world through their passion. This is important because it is right now that people need each other the most with all that’s happening all around the world, to restore faith in humanity and the only way to do that is to make people feel loved. 


“The charities that IMS are partnered with are not only receiving a certain amount of funds but also the direct interaction between runners who are donating so they can see where their donation goes, to let them connect with the cause that makes the run all the more special.”


Although 2019 will be our first race without Kelsang physically in Nepal, she is part of the Nepal Impact Marathon in spirit, constantly offering support and advice to our all new female Race Director team.


Early this year she was offered the opportunity to study abroad in Canada, utilizing her skills learned through Team Impact, Kelsang hopes to complete her studies, carry on traveling and one day hopefully help IMS with other events across the globe. She will always be welcome on our team and is a true member of the Impact Family. 


Thank you, Kelsang Choden Thaptsangkyi, for all you have done for this race…


Shot by David Altabev


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